Jones Lang LaSalle is a global real estate services firm specializing in commercial property management, leasing, and investment management. The company serves clients in 60 countries. The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.8 billion square feet worldwide. Marc Campbell is responsible for serving more than 125 clients in North and South America, with approximately 750 million square feet of facilities under management.
connXus.com: How did you get into purchasing?
Marc Campbell: I actually started my career in sales. I interned in sales during my undergraduate studies and then spent about four years in sales after graduation. I then went on to get my MBA, with a concentration in operations. A good friend of mine worked at Ford Motor Company, and she told me about how Ford was looking to revamp their procurement organization, encouraging me to apply. I wasn’t sure, since I’d spent so much time in sales, and someone pointed out to me that procurement is actually the mirror image of sales. I ended up spending 10 years with Ford, before moving on to roles at E&J Gallo and Chiquita Brands, before joining Jones Lang LaSalle.
connXus.com: Tell us about your role and your responsibilities.
Marc Campbell: We help our clients by taking them out of the facility management business, so that they can focus their efforts on their core competencies and doing what they do best. Strategic Sourcing Solutions procures services, on behalf of our clients, that are required to run their facilities. Services like janitorial, food service, sanitation, pest control, landscaping, snow removal, and so on. My organization serves more than 125 clients. We manage their spend on their behalf and are responsible for about 750 million square feet of facilities in the Americas.
connXus.com: What do you like the most about your role?
Marc Campbell: Truly, the best thing about working in supply chain is that I sit in the catbird seat; I have a view of the entire operation and I touch everything. I have to know what I’m buying and what I’m buying it for, so I get to learn about everything. Procurement is an integral part of what we do, every day.
connXus.com: and the least?
Marc Campbell: In my role, I have to be both the biggest advocate for my suppliers and the biggest critic to my suppliers. The most difficult part of my job is dealing with underperforming suppliers. At Jones Lang LaSalle, we have a tremendous responsibility to our clients. There’s a tremendous responsibility that comes with managing someone else’s money. You have to treat it with respect. However, if a supplier isn’t living up to their responsibilities, I have to make the hard decisions, and sometimes that means giving honest feedback and sometimes that means ending a company’s contract. It’s difficult to do that, knowing that people may lose their jobs.
connXus.com: How does your department support your organization’s mission?
Marc Campbell: When we contract with a particular client, that client is counting on us to leverage our knowledge, our expertise, our preferred supplier base and the size of our spend in order to manage their facilities effectively, efficiently, and to meet or exceed the savings promised.
connXus.com: How is your department organized?
Marc Campbell: We have sourcing managers that are located at our clients’ sites, and who manage the facilities at that site. Depending on the scope and scale of the account, they may take on the role of facility manager, while also fulfilling the sourcing manager role. Those sourcing managers report to five vertical market leads, who manage all the clients in those particular industries. The five market leads then report to me.
connXus.com: Would you characterize your organization’s procurement process as centralized or decentralized?
Marc Campbell: We are extremely client-centric in our mission, which leads to a slightly more decentralized approach. However, our mission is to be more efficient and effective for our clients, so we are focusing more on more centralized sourcing and supply chain management. We are deploying best practices to all our site managers, and making sure that we are effectively leveraging our total spend so that we can save money for our clients while still focusing on their individual needs.
connXus.com: How do you establish a strategic sourcing plan for a client?
Marc Campbell: First, it’s important to understand the scope of work and the environment. Around 80 percent of the services we manage are common to all our clients, with the remaining 20 percent being very specific to the client or unique to the industry. For example, our bio/pharma clients have clean room environments and financial services clients have very high security needs. We have a base strategy that allows us to avoid recreating the wheel every time we source for a new client, and lets us focus on the needs that are unique to that client. We have sourcing strategies, commodity strategies and supply base strategies. We marry those three together to develop a strategic plan for each client.
connXus.com: How do you source new products or services?
Marc Campbell: It goes back to understanding the need. Frankly there isn’t much that we haven’t encountered before. We develop the strategy, the scope of work, and then, if some aspect is new, we determine if the product or service is new to the client or new to Jones Lang LaSalle. Once we understand that, then we can assess how best to serve the need.
connXus.com: How does your company manage supplier diversity? Is it a separate department or is it integrated into the purchasing department?
Marc Campbell: Supplier diversity is incorporated into our organization’s procurement operations. Ultimately, I’m responsible for it in our organization, and we’re working to do more.
connXus.com: How does your company define “diverse supplier?”
Marc Campbell: We use the same definitions as the federal government: MBE’s, WBE’s and Disabled American Veterans. We are finding that GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) is becoming a growing category, as well.
connXus.com: How should a business contact your organization in order to be considered as a diverse supplier?
Marc Campbell: I’d recommend that a company register on our website. We participate in vendor fairs, and it’s an excellent way to make immediate contact with me and my team. Another way to connect with us is to leverage your existing clients. It makes my job so much easier when a vendor has a strong client recommendation behind them.
connXus.com: What are the qualities you look for in a supplier?
Marc Campbell: First, the scale we work in is so large that we rarely work with what you might call a “Mom and Pop” business. We seek suppliers that can service a broad geographic scope. It varies by category, but for instance, if a company supplies janitorial services, I’d prefer a supplier who can serve the entire New York City area or New York state, over one who can only service Manhattan. We seek suppliers that are innovative and that are the most efficient in operations. We look for companies that are financially healthy. We want to be confident that you aren’t just in business today, but that you will be in business for the life of the contract, which can be anywhere from one to three to five years.
connXus.com: What’s the best way for a potential supplier to approach your organization?
Marc Campbell: There’s a little bit of a top-down and a little bit of a bottom-up approach that I’d recommend. 1) Register your company on our website, it’s easy and quick. 2) Approach our sourcing managers on individual accounts. We do a great deal of local sourcing, and often with the customers of our clients. 3) Participate in vendor fairs and come talk to us. We attend WBENC, NMSDC, and other national events.
connXus.com: Is there any way a supplier can develop a good relationship with a large company’s purchasing department beyond just registering on your site?
Marc Campbell: Present yourself and your company in a positive way. Be assertive, but not aggressive in promoting your company and your capabilities. Leverage your existing clients. Part of it is timing, and often, being open to doing something new.
connXus.com: How can a potential supplier make a good impression?
Marc Campbell: The best way to make a good impression is to come forward with a strong resume and history. If it’s a new business, then the owner is obviously selling him or herself. But it’s important that you are prepared; that you understand what we do, and how you can help us serve our clients.
connXus.com: What are some of the biggest mistakes suppliers make when approaching your organization?
Marc Campbell: Over-committing and under-delivering. Not having your ducks in a row and not being prepared to engage. I have no tolerance for suppliers who are testing a business model.
connXus.com: If there was one thing you could tell potential suppliers to do in order to successfully work with your organization, what would it be?
Marc Campbell: Understand our business and come prepared to provide an insight, or offer something new. Identify a market, a category, a niche, that you can fill. Make yourself valuable to me.